Even after careful preparation, several candidates tend to make mistakes due to pressure, anxiety, and restlessness. Hence, it is good to know some of the common mistakes that aspirants tend to make it.
The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most difficult exams in the country. The success rate of CAT, defined as getting a seat in one of the coveted IIMs, is merely 2 per cent. Even if you include a few of the best non-IIM colleges, the percentage moves to about 2.8 per cent. To be among the top scorers, candidates must be confident and well-prepared.
Even after careful preparation, several candidates tend to make mistakes due to pressure, anxiety, and restlessness. Hence, it is good to know some of the common mistakes that aspirants tend to make. There could be several reasons, including a lack of correct strategy, enthusiasm, mentor assistance, and so on, which can lead to candidates making these mistakes. While keeping these in mind, we will look at some suggestions for addressing them:
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GETTING DEMOTIVATED BASIS MOCK SCORES
Mistake: Candidates tend to feel demotivated and hopeless in the last few days. Often candidates get disappointed with their mock scores and give up on their dream B-school. Demotivation leads to negativity that can hamper the candidate’s mindset and preparation.
Tip: Candidates need to stay positive and energetic. A right attitude and calm mind will yield good results on D-day. Mock scores at times do not project your actual CAT score. Candidates must be calm and trust their preparation. All the candidates appearing for CAT aren’t equally motivated or serious. A score of 36, that is, net correct of 12 questions, would get you 70 percentile in CAT. Now if any if you are given 20 questions and 2 hours, most of you would easily get 78 questions correct even without preparation. Thus, the competition in CAT is less strenuous than what you face in the mocks.
LAST MINUTE CHANGES TO YOUR EXAM DAY STRATEGY
Mistake: A very common mistake made during CAT preparation, which can seriously affect the scores of candidates, is changing your D-day strategy a few days before the exam. This will lead to confusion and can clutter your mind with a plethora of unorganised information that might lower the effectiveness of your performance on the exam day.
Tip: Analyse your mocks and identify your strong and weak areas before pinpointing on your CAT strategy. It is all about maximising your score from your areas of strengths and not worrying about your weaknesses. For eg, if you have been banking on arithmetic and geometry, then it doesn’t make sense to change your strategy to include algebra, at the last minute. Even though you know that 5-6 questions would come from algebra, going through new concepts now will muddle what you already know and may lead to loss of marks from your areas of strengths.
Similarly if you are one of those who reads a passage before going through the questions and someone tells you to read the questions before going through the passage, do not change your methodology. It takes 21 days for something to become a habit and you just don’t have the time at this juncture of your preparation. Back what you know and the personalised strategy that you have curated over the last few months to help you ace CAT 2022.
LACK OF FOCUS ON THE INTANGIBLES
Mistake: A very common mistake that most candidates make during preparation is to completely miss out on the intangibles that they might encounter on D-Day and the strategy to counter these issues
Tip: What if any one or a few of the following things happen during exam:
— You feel sleepy during CAT
— You feel hungry during your paper
— You need to use the rest room during the paper
— Your mind wanders during the 2 hour slot and your concentration suffers
— Your system crashes in between your exam, Etc.
How would you tackle one or more of the above or similar issues that might crop up during your CAT exam?
The answer is simple — ensure that none of the above is a surprise.
You got to know your CAT slot one month in advance – do ensure that you prepare well keeping this in mind. Do not eat anything in the window of 2 hours before your exam starts to 1 hour after it gets over. Thus, be prepared for no food over this 5-hour window so that hunger doesn’t affect your performance.